I'm sorry to start out the new year on a negative note but if you haven't already heard, All Romance Ebooks has closed their doors. As one of their authors I received word from them three lousy days before they decided to close. A law where they were based out of says a business has to give a minimum of three days notice before they close. The address ARe listed for their ten-year-old business was in Florida. Three days that not only affected authors but publishers and readers alike. Basically everyone. As of midnight last night their site went down. By the way I only found out recently that Lori James, CEO of ARe, writes under the pen name of Samantha Sommersby.
Authors are affected because ARe was a huge platform for selling our books. Publishers because they used ARe as a huge platform for selling their author's books. Readers because they not only purchased books from the site but most likely stored them in their libraries. I know I did but I only had a few books to download before ARe went down. I've read in other venues that some readers had thousands. So for three days we were all busy trying to download the books in our libraries, pull books from the site because they were still being sold, collect eBucks, collect refunds, use up gift cards, all while trying to come to terms that this was really happening. Can you imagine how often the site crashed because of so much activity going on at the same time?
Oh, and I had a release on 12/30 that had collected pre-orders on their site. No Mercy had also hit their best seller's list because of those pre-orders. I have to ask myself what happens to the readers who paid for those ebooks in advance. We all got screwed. But I'm telling you now, if you send me proof that you pre-ordered No Mercy from their site I will honor it.
On top of everything else authors were notified that they would only receive 10 cents on every dollar of the money owed to them for the 4th quarter sales. Ten cents! I'm not only out my royalties but I also took out a hefty ad package for 2017, in which the money was charged to my account on 12/4, which just happened to be my birthday, too. Happy Birthday! While I might be out my royalties I can only hope ARe does the right thing in refunding my credit card for the ad package like they said they would. Otherwise my bank will need to get involved.
I don't like to think badly of anyone. Yet things happen in life where I find myself still surprised and greatly disappointed when they do. I'm sad for all of us right now. Years ago a friend said something to me that has stuck with me today, "Don't sweat the things outside your circle of influence". It's pretty clear really, and it's not always easy to live by. No one likes getting screwed over. I especially don't like my readers being screwed over.
All we can do is hope for the best of a bad situation right now.